India football team friendlies: When and where to watch India's matches against Oman and UAE
India will be playing two friendlies in March, against Oman and UAE.
Talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri will not be there to inspire but a young Indian team will seek to play fearless football against a more fancied Oman in its first international match in more than a year on Thursday.
Chhetri is not with the team for the two international friendlies in Dubai — the second one against the UAE on Saturday — as he is recovering from COVID-19.
But the side with an average age of just over 24 is raring to go in its first international match after November 2019 and many of them have done well in the recent Indian Super League for their respective franchises.
Head coach Igor Stimac has said that the youngsters will be given ample chances to prove themselves and they should play free and fearless football.
"We need to come to the pitch without any fear, we need to try to make our transitions properly, and we need to try and enjoy the possession that we have. That's what I want to ask of my players," Stimac had said ahead of the camp.
The absence of Chhetri, the second-highest international goal-getter among active players, will be felt greatly but India did pull off a goal-less draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha without the star striker in a 2022 World Cup qualifying round match in 2019.
"It's a big miss, not having Chhetri bhai in the squad. But I'm sure the boys will take this as an opportunity and we have to play together as a team," said number one goalkeeper and senior player Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who has led the side on many occasions.
Fortunately for Stimac, the 27-member squad is a mixture of players who have been with the team earlier and new faces like Akash Mishra, Liston Colaco, Ishan Pandita, Bipin Singh, and Lalengmawia. The rookies would be especially eager to showcase their talent after making an impact in the ISL.
The likes of Amrinder Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Rowllin Borges, and Lallianzuala Chhangte have been the top Indian performers for their ISL teams and they will be propped up by experienced campaigners like Gurpreet, Sandesh Jhingan, and Anirudh Thapa.
Here's all you need to know about the upcoming friendlies.
How many friendlies will India be playing and against whom?
India will be playing two friendlies — against Oman and UAE — before they play their 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup second round qualifiers in June.
When and at what time will the friendlies be played?
The friendly against Oman will take place on 25 March. The match starts at 7.15 PM IST.
The friendly against UAE will take place on 29 March. The match starts at 9.45 PM IST.
Where will the matches be played?
The Oman friendly will be played at the Maktoom Bin Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
The Dubai friendly will be played at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai.
Where will India vs Oman, UAE matches be broadcast?
The matches will be broadcast on Eurosport HD in India. The Eurosport broadcast will be streamed live on Jio TV.
Indian Team (From): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mashoor Shereef, Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad, Suresh Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Manvir Singh, Ishan Pandita, Hitesh Sharma, Liston Colaco.
With PTI inputs
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